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Chasseguet-Smirgel, J. (1988). Les Années Brunes. Psychoanalysis Under the Third Reich.: Edited and translated by Jean-Luc Evard. Paris: Confrontations, 1984, 216 pp.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 36:1059-1066.

(1988). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 36:1059-1066

Les Années Brunes. Psychoanalysis Under the Third Reich.: Edited and translated by Jean-Luc Evard. Paris: Confrontations, 1984, 216 pp.

Review by:
Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel

Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.
—Deuteronomy, 32, 7

Where the history of psychoanalysis under Nazi rule in Germany is concerned, it is almost as if one had quite literally obeyed the order: "You are requested to close the eyes" appearing in one of Freud's dreams (1900p. 317). One must not see. A most tenacious legend, the validity of which, because of its very great likelihood, was not questioned for a long time, holds that analysis was "liquidated" under the Third Reich. Here and there one came across strange accounts dealing with the "Goering Institute" (in the country where I live, that is), but the idea was that this involved a handful of erring psychotherapists gathered around Jung and Schultz-Encke. However, on reading Jones (1961), one finds at least one contradiction. Does he not write that this was the year (we are in 1934) that psychoanalysts fled Germany and the year in which psychoanalysis was "liquidated" from the German Reich, this being one of the rare enterprises Hitler was able to carry out? However, in the same volume, Jones also wonders whether it would not have been better to dissolve the German Society as the Dutch Society had chosen to do when Jewish analysts were forbidden to practice.


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